How bad is pandora?

Discussion in 'Music Streaming' started by Dustyballz, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. robgmn

    robgmn Super Member

    Messages:
    4,223
    Location:
    Twin Ports, MN
    I think I get your drift, but to clarify: Are you saying the hardware manufacturer is paying Pandora to provide a service, and the number of ads you hear is dependent on who makes the hardware? I get Pandora on my Sharp Aquos, will the commercials-per-hour be different than if I get Pandora from the Amazon stick plugged into the AQUOS?

    I build my own PCs with parts from many sources and mfgrs. Who pays the fees to Pandora?
     
  2. Lavane

    Lavane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,364
    Location:
    northern cal.
    I use it when testing equipment im working on or building at my bench. My phone and the one cable don't take up much room. Also it doesn't sound that bad. To me Pandora sounds better than XM. I have used it with my phone plugged into my main system for background music when people are visiting. XM in two vehicles I own and one I traded in always sounded kind of odd. Just not right. Some tizzy noise at the top end and a kind of strange warbling sound from time to time.
     
  3. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

    Messages:
    4,990
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    I think that Pandora on any PC is very limited and commercial laden because there are no real fees. I don't have a Sharp TV or Firestick, but I bet the commercials per hour may be different.

    I stopped listening on PCs because of both commercials and it kept asking me if I was still listening, but stopping the music to ask. I now only stream it from my 2 OPPO 93s.
     
  4. 81spirit

    81spirit Super Member

    Messages:
    1,271
    Location:
    Shiloh, Tennessee
    A lot less commercials on my Samsung bluray compared to phone. Listened to my Thumbprint radio channel for a couple hours the other day with no commercials.
     
  5. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    938
    Location:
    NE. FL.
    Ok folks, here`s my only FWIW. experience with Pandora, or any other interweb music streaming, for that matter.
    Around five years ago when I purchased a OPPO BRP-103 for my A/V system, I noticed it had a included free app to use Pandora, so I thought, why not check it out.
    So I set it up and played around with and set it up for classic rock in the shuffle mode

    At that time I was enjoying my Sony 400 CD player`s coax S/PDIF`d to a DAC, which fed my Mac C37 preamp, that fed my whole house(5 room) audio distribution with high quality sound..
    That same coax S/PDIF feed, via a HQ active 500 Mhz. bandwidth S/PDIF splitter, that also fed my Integra A/V preamp for use in the living room`s separate HQ sound system.
    With this setup I could/can AB back and forth between those 2 sources, in the living room or the background house system.

    I don`t know what the commercial free version that OPPO had cut whatever deal with Pandora was, but the SQ was not up to my expectations and sounded slightly grainy and more than a little compressed, and brought on listening fatigue rather quickly no matter where I listened to it in my house, while the Sony player playing Red Book, or the few SACD`s sounded many, many times better than any of the same songs that Pandora played, all this with no apparent buffering or dropout issues.
    And any CD/SACD played in the OPPO, via it`s highly regarded internal DAC, sounded very good as heard through any of the systems in my house, as well..

    I contacted Pandora`s customer service/tech support a few days later about the crappy SQ I was experiencing making sure they knew that this Pandora app was a free OPPO app. ad on..
    I told them what gear I was using and any settings that might influence the SQ. that I should/could change.

    They were basically at a loss why I was not happy with the SQ, so I quit trying to use it and stayed with my Sony 400 CD/SACD player in the disc shuffle mode, and didn`t think any more about it anymore until the Sony jumped off the cliff during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 while I was on my whole house standby LP gas generator.
    So while I was trying to learn how to properly rip all my CD`s to one of my laptops, I thought, well it`s been about 3 years since I last listened to Pandora, and I would really like to have background music without having to keep getting up from where I ripping to place/change CD`s in my Mac CD player, or the OPPO, for the three 18 hour days that ripping took for around a 1000 CDs..

    Well IMHO/E, I couldn`t rip fast enough so as to be able to stop having to listen to what I called low rent nasty audio quality that Pandora was spueing through my audio systems.. :thumbsdown:

    Now in all fairness, I have no idea of what bit rate, ect. I was receiving from them for this freebee OPPO app, but it sure wasn`t going to encourage me to pay for any higher tiers that they offered. :no:

    I have no interest in any music or movie streaming, because I have about 90 percent of all the 5 genre`s of music that I `m interested in WAV. ripped/stored to three laptop`s SSD drives, and 2 500 Gig. flash drives, and 1 external 960 Gig. SSD.. :)
    Hey !! I`m a cautious fellow !! :idea:

    I`m totally happy and content with playing one of my flash drives with over 6,770 songs on it through the OPPO 103`s usb port with the benefit of no moving parts, fans, or laser failure. :thumbsup:

    To each their own folks, just my $.02`s worth of experience, as the OP requested.. :blah:

    Kind regards, OKB
     
  6. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

    Messages:
    4,990
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    Interesting, for me the SQ is not equal to my CDP or FLAC files but it is far from bad or unlistenable. Just recently I finally used Y Cables to send the OPPO output to my main rig and was pleasantly surprised.
     
    Archguy likes this.
  7. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,471
    Location:
    SE Alaska
    Since I use streaming for the sole purpose of either discovery or audition, both with the intention of buying music, I find that Pandora works well with it's radio station features, but poorly for audition as they didn't seem to have a very complete listing like Spotify or Tidal does. I haven't used Pandora in years tho so maybe things have changed.

    I am currently using Google's service which is good for audition, but unfortunately doesn't do discovery well, the suggestions don't seem to be that productive for me.

    I may start paying for Pandora again at some point just for its algorithm which just works better for finding music I will like. As for sound quality, hopefully they have made progress in that regard.
     
  8. robgmn

    robgmn Super Member

    Messages:
    4,223
    Location:
    Twin Ports, MN
    I'm the type of guy who says "If it ain't broke, take it apart to see why it works".
    I wonder if all non-PC Pandora apps act the same way as far as fewer commercials. I just can't imagine different mfgrs paying Pandora to provide varying levels of service.
    Heck, I can't imagine a mfgr paying Pandora at all, given the number of operating systems (non-PC) that don't have Pandora but can have it installed after the fact.
    And think if the mfgr pays, then YOU pay a subscription fee on top of it (which is the endgame for Pandora). Double dipping!

    Now I have to play around with my Sharp TV, Roku, Firestick, iPhone, Android phone, to see what they do.
    Thanks a lot!
    'Damn OCD...
     
  9. kirk57

    kirk57 Some guy on the Internet Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,062
    Location:
    Chicago's North Shore
    I pay for it, so no commercials.

    I stream it through my Squeezebox Touch-> Schitt Bitfrost and sound quality is good, although I have never done a straight-up comparison between the Pandora stream and files I have on my music server ripped from Redbook CDs. For some reason I just find myself listening to the music instead of doing that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    81spirit likes this.
  10. robgmn

    robgmn Super Member

    Messages:
    4,223
    Location:
    Twin Ports, MN
    Pandora streams at the equivalent of 128K MP3.
    There IS an audible difference, but whether it bugs you personally is another story.

    Given a choice, Ii always go for better SQ, but if the only thing I have to listen to music on is a pocket radio with a 2" speaker, I'm on it.
    Any music is better than NO music!
     
  11. Dustyballz

    Dustyballz New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Oregon
    I like pandora alot. I use it to find music and enjoy reading the artist bios. I posted this mostly so i could hear others oppinions and hear other options, which has worked great. Thanks everybody.
     
    Hyfi likes this.
  12. UncleBingo

    UncleBingo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    494
    If you're a musician that lives on royalty payments it stinks.
     
    kirk57 likes this.
  13. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

    Messages:
    2,616
    Location:
    Tega Cay
    There are indeed a myriad of reasons why one particular platform and/or user will experience a heavier ad load than others when using Pandora.

    But this is the first time I've ever heard about this special limited advertising program for device manufacturers. I would love to learn more about it. Where did you learn about this?
     
  14. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,713
    Location:
    Norman OK
    I get few commercials streaming Pandora via ROKU. SQ is okay for 128k, but I usually listen to Tidal premium, which sounds better. Christine, OTOH, likes Pandora's simple info display, notices no difference in SQ between it and Tidal, and because that helps with sharing music, Pandora gets more play here than would otherwise be the case. Tidal gets a lot more use, though.
     
  15. robgmn

    robgmn Super Member

    Messages:
    4,223
    Location:
    Twin Ports, MN
    I don't have an Oppo, so this is somewhat anecdotal:
    I installed Pandora on my (Amazon) Firestick tonight and let it play. Four songs in, and I got a commercial. Three more songs, and a commercial. Five more, and a commercial.

    SQ was moderate. Obviously heavily compressed, but listenable at background volume. If I cranked it up at all (listening to classic rock) the upper-mid/lower high end graininess was noticeable and annoying right away. The bass was excessive, to the point I dumped the sub out of the mix and even then it was still a little bass-heavy.
    I don't know if Spotify would be any better as it's only 160K, but at least it would be less commercials (I've always gotten fewer commercials on Spotify)
    Equipment used for "test": Firestick in a Sharp Aquos with TOSLINK to Denon 2808ci, into B&O IcePower amp, driving a set of Carver ALIII Plus speaks.

    I asked my son about his Amazon Echo & Pandora. He said he gets commercials regularly and more often when he skips songs a lot.
    My daughter listens to it on her ZTE phone. She said she hears a "bunch" of commercials (translated: about one for every four songs).
     
  16. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,471
    Location:
    SE Alaska
    Went to the Pandora Web site and there are some new things happening, mainly Premium, but with limitations too. I would have signed up and someday maybe I will when I can stream it from my pc, through my external dac with minimum 320 kbps. Cell phone apps only doesn't work for me.
     
  17. RTally

    RTally Member

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I was a long-time Slacker fan, but they recently changed their plans. I liked Slacker because their off-line storage feature was great. Now it is gone unless I pay double. It was time for a new streaming service. Music is the soundtrack to my life. I listen to something just about every waking minute. I do mute it when I talk on the phone, though. I want good quality, but I do not require CD quality for my full-time casual listening. But I do use good equipment for my music. My office setup is an 80 watt Yamaha driving a pair of Maggie MMGs and a sub. I stream from an iPad or a Mac Pro. So my search began.

    After investigating the features and, more importantly, the streaming bit rate of the major players, I decided on Pandora. All free services suck. I bought Pandora Plus. I opted to use the highest audio quality in the settings for all my devices. It sounds pretty damn good. Sure, my FLAC files sound better. I can live with 64k AAC while I drive my noisy small compact car. 192kbps is sufficiently good for my casual listening requirements without running into bandwidth problems with my internet service.

    This is what Pandora says about their streaming bit rates:

    https://help.pandora.com/customer/e...87-change-your-personal-settings?b_id=14545#7

    Is Pandora good or bad? Depends upon your criteria. I am a satisfied customer of their paid plan.
     
    Oregonian likes this.
  18. RTally

    RTally Member

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I listen to both Pandora and Slacker on my Sony BluRay machine in my living room. Before I bought Pandora, I listened to the free version. The free Pandora on the smart disc player sounded better than the paid-for Slacker. The commercials on free Pandora on the Sony were about 1 every half-hour. They were muted and barely noticed.
     
  19. arts

    arts Super Member

    Messages:
    2,923
    Location:
    Qc, Canada
    Depends on the day. Sometimes she's a wonderful pussycat.When she hops up on the bed in the middle of the night chattering and demanding rubs,not so wonderful;)

    This is our ''Pandora'' DSCF2625.JPG
     
    blownsi, motorstereo and Condorsat like this.
  20. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,198
    Location:
    Ohio
    Our Tabby Cat Pandora (we kept her Humane Society name) looks like that also ... she has white boots on all her paws though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    blownsi likes this.

Share This Page